Martin Freeman Turns Down THE HOBBIT?

According to DigitalSpy.com, actor Martin Freeman (THE OFFICE, LOVE ACTUALLY, SHERLOCK) was up for the part of Bilbo Baggins in the hotly-anticipated Peter Jackson film, The Hobbit, but unfortunately…

The actor turned down the role in the adaptation of J.R.R. Tolkien’s book because he had already committed to 20 weeks filming the second series of BBC’s Sherlock, The Sun reports.

“It was one of the most difficult decisions of his career,” a source told the paper. “MGM, who are making the film, only got a formal offer over in the last couple of weeks.”

They continued: “It was too late for Martin because he had already signed up for another series of Sherlock. It was agonising but he had no other choice.

“All the actors had to read four pages of script to camera which is being shown to Peter Jackson.”

They added: “He is looking for a hidden gem now Martin has ruled himself out of the job.”

Freeman will return to his role as John Watson in the next three-part series of Sherlock.